Cakes of Potato, known as boxty to the Irish, are said to have originated in the north midlands of Ireland in Connacht and Ulster. Those hailing from Sligo, Donegal, Longford, Mayo, Cavan and Leitrim are huge lovers of this simple, delicious dish.
Boxty is believed to have originated in the days of the Great Famine of 1847 through 1849 as a means of extending the food supply. There are a few recipes, but they all have use raw potatoes, that are grated finely and then served fried.
Boxty recipes have many twists including boiling the potato patty, baking it and even serving it like a dumpling. Today, many people spice up the original recipe adding vegetables and even meat to the dish. But no matter how you cut the mustard, the original style of serving them hot off of a griddle is still as tasty as ever.
Boxty has become increasingly popular in the last few years as Irishmen have become more interested in the original dishes of the Green Isle. In fact, you’ll find boxty on many a menu in Ireland today when only a few years ago it never would have been considered. But it is still a huge part of home cooking for the Sons and Daughters of Erin.
Over the last couple of years, as the Irish have become more interested in their own cuisine, the popularity of boxty has risen. It’s now quite normal to see boxty on a menu in a restaurant in Ireland, whereas a decade ago it would have still been considered a ‘peasant dish.’ However, boxty has always been popular as part of Irish home cooking.
As one traditional (if woefully out-dated) rhyme explains:
Boxty on the griddle,
Boxty in the pan,
If you can’t make boxty,
You’ll never get your man.
- 1 cup raw, grated potatoes
- 1 cup leftover mashed potatoes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup (about) milk to mix
- Butter or oil for frying
- Sugar (optional)
- Place the grated raw potatoes in a clean cloth and twist to remove excess moisture.
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Combine flour mixture into raw potatoes, mashed potatoes, and eggs.
- Add enough mix to make a batter.
- Heat a heavy skillet over medium heat and add butter or oil.
- Drop potato batter by the tablespoon into the hot pan.
- Brown on both sides (about 4 minutes per side).
- Butter each boxty and serve hot with or without sugar.
- Yield: about 4 servings